RBC CWEA

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

Nominees must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply for the 25th annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. To confirm your eligibility, please ensure you meet the following criteria. If you have additional questions, please email us at info@womenofinfluence.ca for more information.

Please note:
– Certain eligibility criteria do not factor in if you are applying to the Social Change Award
– Please review additional criteria that applies to each specific Award category

  1. She must be active in a business registered as a sole proprietorship or corporation for three full years as of May 31, 2017.
  2. Her business must have been profitable in the last fiscal year.
  3. For registered charities and not-for-profits, this means financially stable and meeting all spending quotas when applicable.
  4. She must currently own shares in the company.
    • Not applicable to those applying to the Social Change Award.
  5. She must hold the most senior executive title and/or be the chief decision maker.
  6. She must be the founder of the business and/or have had a significant impact on the company if acquired.
    • Nominees applying to the Social Change Award must demonstrate how they’ve had a significant impact as the leader of the organization.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ELIGIBILITY


In order to sustain the credibility of the awards, Women of Influence ensures that we honour women entrepreneurs who have well-rounded businesses. The applicant must prove profitability in the last fiscal year.

It is required that your business has been operational for three years, as of May 31, 2017.

Franchisors are eligible to apply, but franchisees are not. While franchisees may use innovative business strategies to grow their operations, they are not founders of the original business concept and structure.

The program now includes registered charities and Not-for-Profit businesses. These organizations may only apply to the Social Change Award (more information below).

1. Own or control the majority of voting shares (n/a to Social Change applicants)
2. Hold the senior executive title or be the chief decision maker.
3. Be responsible for day-to-day management and the bottom line of the company.

Women entrepreneurs in partnership with a man may apply if the applicant meets all other eligibility requirements as outlined above.

In essence: if the partnership were to break up, would the woman entrepreneur retain control of the company? If so, she is eligible to apply.

Proof of meeting these criteria can be indicated in the application within the business plan section.


If you have purchased a business, and are not the founder, you still qualify! But it will be critical for you to explain how your leadership has turned the business around, or led to it achieving a substantially greater level of success.

If there are two or more women listed as owners of the business, we encourage female partners to submit a single application together. This application would require all names and roles of the partners.

We are always thrilled to see the women who have participated in the program thriving and growing. To that end, a past winner is eligible to apply for the TEC Canada Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship.

WHICH AWARD CATEGORY IS THE BEST FIT?

Read on to determine which Award Category is the best fit for your business at this time and get inspired by recent winners and finalists.
 

Micro-Business Award
This award honors entrepreneurs who own and operate small businesses that generate annual revenues of under $1 million. The applicant’s business is in any industry, at any stage and in any region, and must demonstrate a successful growth rate on the micro level.

Recent Winners of the Micro-Business Award
Isabelle Primeau & Marie-Helene Primeau, Premier Continuum Inc., Montreal, QC – 2016
• Sharon Vinderine, PTPA Media Inc., Mississauga, ON – 2015
• Penney Murphy, Penney Murphy & Associates, Saskatoon, SK – 2014

Meet the 2016 Finalists
Meet the 2015 Finalists
 

Staples Start-Up Award
This award celebrates the achievements of an entrepreneur who, in a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years, has developed her business into one that’s ready for the next level of growth. The recipient has been successful in building a profitable business since its inception, and can share a comprehensive and sustainable business plan.

Recent Winners of the Start-Up Award
Angela Marotta & Melissa Paolicelli, Two Sisters Vineyard, Niagara Region, ON – 2016
• Dr. Wendy McClelland, Vets to Go Inc., Calgary, AB – 2015
• Mia Pearson, North Strategic, Toronto, ON – 2014
• Lisa Tuningley, President, T-RAIL Products Inc., Surrey BC – 2013

Meet the 2016 Finalists
Meet the 2015 Finalists
 

RBC Momentum Award
This entrepreneur has successfully capitalized on opportunities to deliver 10% or more growth, year-over-year for three years or more. Through expanded management, empowered employees, and demonstrated excellence, she has created a flexible and responsive business that is able to adapt to changing market environments and leverage opportunities for continued growth.

Recent Winners of the RBC Momentum Award
Kate Ross Leblanc, Saje Natural Wellness, Vancouver, BC – 2016
• Allison Grafton, Rockwood Custom Homes, Calgary, AB – 2015
• Kyle MacDonald, Phoenix Interactive Design, London, ON – 2014
• Victoria Sopik & Jennifer Nashmi, Kids & Company

Meet the 2016 Finalists
Meet the 2015 Finalists
 

Social Change Award
Awarding an exceptional leader of a registered charity or not-for-profit that is dedicated to their unique brand of social change. Applicants have garnered extraordinary support from the community by being champions for philanthropy and volunteerism in Canada.

Recent Winners of the Social Change Award (formerly known as the Charitable Giving Award)
Jennifer Flanagan, Actua, Toronto, ON, Vancouver BC – 2016
• Marcia Nozick, Eastside Movement for Business and Economic Renewal Society (EMBERS), Vancouver, BC – 2015
• Jennifer Gillivan, IWK Foundation, Halifax, NS – 2014

Meet the 2016 Finalists
Meet the 2015 Finalists
 

TELUS Trailblazer Award
This entrepreneur is a true trendsetter. She has recognized a new market, product, service, technological advancement or opportunity and led the way. She has demonstrated outstanding leadership within her company and her market and she has set standards for originality, quality and successful management.

Recent Winners of the TELUS Trailblazer Award
Eva Sun, The Rice People, Richmond, BC
• Janice Larocque, Spirit Staffing and Consulting Inc., Calgary, AB – 2015
• Jennifer Carlson, Baby Gourmet, Calgary, AB – 2014
• Shannon Rogers, Global Relay, Vancouver, BC – 2013

Meet the 2016 Finalists
Meet the 2015 Finalists
 

TEC Canada Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship
Through timely innovation, strategic thinking and smart execution, the recipient of this award has built and managed one or more successful businesses over a period of 10 years. With a proven track record of growth, profitability, and industry leadership, this entrepreneur’s exploits have generated an uncommon degree of economic growth, and she has shown to possess the drive, managerial acumen and leadership traits that others aspire to have.

Recent Winners of the Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship (formerly known as the PROFIT Award)
Kathy Gregory, Paradigm Quest Inc., Toronto, ON – 2016
• Ann Kaplan, iFinance Canada Inc., Toronto, ON – 2015
• Julie Cole, Cynthia Esp, Tricia Mumby, Julie Ellis, Mabel’s Labels, Hamilton, ON – 2014

Meet the 2016 Finalists
Meet the 2015 Finalists
 

MORE INFORMATION

Still unsure if you’re eligible? Trying to decide which category you should apply for? We’re here to help!

Access our Frequently Asked Questions page and check out our Video Tutorials. If you still need help, please email info@womenofinfluence.ca.